In the age of social media, a large following means everything. Same is true for Instagram. However, there is one big misconception and that is that likes mean everything. The truth is that Instagram likes mean nothing; here is how. Spam likers A large portion of people on Instagram do not engage with the picture; they simply like and move on and they do this to everything they see. If your picture of an important engaging matter gets the same attention from such a spam liker as he gives to a totally unrelated and useless picture, you would feel terrible if you were to take likes very seriously. Comments, on the other hand, are of much worth as this shows that the audience has engaged with the post. Click and run takes no time and may not even show their appreciation while a comment certainly shows that the commenter took the time out and effort to make the comment. This is what you should be aiming for. Among the many likes, you may have your friends and family who like your stuff; however, that may not be a genuine indicator of the success of your client. Engagement from followers other than family and friends should be the focus. Frequent posting Posting something close to the previous post may result in lower interest from the followers. This basic error will crowd your followers’ feed and hinder their engagement on your pictures. Since you should be aiming for engagement instead of likes, this area needs to be taken care of. Engagement over likes Getting a lot of likes does not mean anything for another reason and that is the comparison of percentage of likes to followers. Imagine having 34 million followers but only getting around half a million likes or less on average on each post. That is around 1% and may indicate wrong perceptions while the account may actually be very successful. This is the case with the account of Drake where he encounters even 200K likes on some posts; however, this does not mean that his account is unsuccessful. Focus on engagement Your target should be to have high followers to likes ratio and then aim for more followers. Looking for quick results can also be detrimental. Focusing on posts that are meaningful and result in conversation are much better than those that are meaningless and get a lot of likes but not enough comments. Schedule your posts Know your statistics and keep an active eye on them. This should help you set the posting schedule and if you are able to engage with your followers considering the different time zones, you have better chances to succeed. If you operate on a smaller scale and are not concerned with time zones, you must still be aware of the best times of the day to schedule your posts. Moreover, posting should not be done too often that it loses its charm and start to appear as spam; that also has the potential to lower genuine engagement with the account. Ideally it should be done once or twice a day but may vary depending on your situation. Additionally, your likes may decrease as the followers may be expecting them; this does not mean that they are not effective. Basing your success on the number of likes will not only be disadvantageous but also give an incorrect position. Frequent posting may enable you to reach out more to your followers and it may give an impression that you post a lot. This may be negative at times but may also be positive as it has the potential to put off uninterested parties and you will only remain with potential clients or interested followers. The key here is the ideal mix that is relevant to your situation. Call to action Intending to induce the audience to perform a specific act is a call to action. People will see your photo and they may even like it but then move on; however, a gentle and not too desperate sounding reminder to tag and comment does work and may do wonders. In short, a call to action should not be underestimated. Instead of focusing on likes, focus should be on the conversion rate of the call to action. The more people took action based on that, the more you engaged with them and these are the kind of followers one should strive for. Mental stress Excessive focus on likes results in stress and social media addiction. Many have taken breaks and deactivated their accounts temporarily to not be controlled by their social media profile. An excessive thirst for likes has the potential to eventually lead to this addiction and stress. Being genuine and focusing on engagement produces a better outcome in all regards and provides a better follower to likes ratio as well. If you are small to medium sized business and trying to grow your brand, don't be too hard on yourself; some posts will click with your niche and get you a lot of engagement and others won't. You have to figure out the strategy that best suits you and be fairly consistent with it while experimenting with some flexibility as well. Many likes for your brand do not have the potential to convert to revenue; however, engagement with the followers or potential clients builds rapport and has significantly higher chances of being converted to revenue.